Ritchie County

Ritchie County

Arbor Day Poster Contest Winners from McDowell and Ritchie Counties

CHARLESTON, WV – West Virginia Division of Forestry officials announced two winners in the 2015 West Virginia Arbor Day Poster Contest. McKaylee Lynch, a homeschool student in Harrisville, Ritchie County, took top prize in the fourth-grade category. Jacob Adkins of Bradshaw Elementary in McDowell County won top honors in the fifth-grade category. This year’s contest theme was “Trees Are … Beneficial!”

The Gilmer Free Press
Winning artwork by
fifth-grade student Jacob Adkins of McDowell County (top) and
fourth-grade student McKaylee Lynch of Ritchie County (bottom).

Contest Coordinator Andy Sheetz, the Division of Forestry’s partnership coordinator, said, “The Arbor Day Poster Contest is an excellent opportunity for students to showcase their artistic talents while learning about the importance of trees.”

An award ceremony will be conducted for each of the winners and trees will be planted in their honor. Each winner also will receive a $30 cash prize from the West Virginia Forestry Association.

The West Virginia Arbor Day Poster Contest is open to all public, private and home-schooled fourth-grade and fifth-grade students in the state.


Governor also issues State of Preparedness for 35 additional counties
The Gilmer Free Press

CHARLESTON, WV - Governor Earl Ray Tomblin today declared a State of Emergency in Braxton, Webster and Wood counties, mobilizing state resources to combat severe flooding following heavy rainfall Sunday night and Monday morning. The governor has also issued a State of Preparedness for 35 additional counties: Barbour, Boone, Cabell, Calhoun, Clay, Doddridge, Fayette, Gilmer, Greenbrier, Harrison, Jackson, Kanawha, Lewis, Lincoln, Logan, Mason, McDowell, Mercer, Mingo, Monroe, Nicholas, Pleasants, Pocahontas, Putnam, Raleigh, Randolph, Ritchie, Roane, Summers, Taylor, Tyler, Upshur, Wayne, Wirt and Wyoming counties.

“In the past 24 hours, areas of our state have experienced rockslides, mudslides and severe flooding as a result of major storms and substantial rainfall,“ Gov. Tomblin said. “State agencies have people in the field to help local offices of emergency management assess local damages, and additional state resources have been mobilized to prepare for a second major storm event expected to hit Monday evening. As the forecast evolves over the next 24 hours, I encourage West Virginians to gather supplies necessary to prepare for flooding, power outages, downed electric lines and downed trees. As you make preparedness plans, I encourage you to talk to your family about what to do and where to go. Remember to check on the elderly and your neighbors, and consider a plan to care for household pets.“

A State of Emergency does not guarantee federal assistance unless certain thresholds are met. In addition, the declaration does not provide for direct individual assistance. West Virginians should continue to contact their local offices of emergency management for immediate needs. Contact information for each county office can be found here:

The State of Preparedness statue was passed last year to allow the governor to mobilize necessary resources in advance of predicted severe weather or large-scale threats. The powers are similar to those involved in a State of Emergency but allow for additional preparations in advance of the expected event.

Girl Scout Project Provides New Homes for North Bend State Park Songbirds and Wood Ducks

CAIRO, WV – Brianna Bengel has earned the highest award a Cadette Girl Scout (Grades 6-8) can earn: a Silver Award. Her project was building songbird and wood duck boxes and donating them to North Bend State Park, located near Cairo in Ritchie County.

“It is an honor to accept these nest boxes as a gift to our ongoing nature-based activities,” said Ken Zebo, activities coordinator and naturalist at North Bend. “We are grateful for Brianna’s interest in North Bend State Park and her dedication to wildlife habitat development.”

The Gilmer Free Press
Girl Scout Brianna Bengle, Troop 1170 of Harrisville, West Virginia,
presents a wood duck nesting box to North Bend State Park Naturalist Ken Zebo.
Bengle built eight nesting boxes to complete a project that earned
her the Silver Award as a Cadette Girl Scout.

Brianna is one of several youth and families in Ritchie County that assists with the nest box monitoring program at North Bend State Park.

Six song bird nest boxes and three wood duck boxes built to create nesting habitat were presented to Zebo in June. Zebo said that the boxes were built of cedar and are well built and accurate in design for songbird and wood duck use.

Bengel is a member of Girl Scout Troop 1170. She just finished eighth grade at Ritchie County Middle School and will be attending Ritchie County High School in fall 2015. Brianna is the daughter of Alice Bengle of Harrisville, West Virginia.

North Bend State Park is easily accessible from U.S. Hwy 50, a four-lane highway stretching west to east from Parkersburg to Clarksburg. Driving EAST, take U.S. Hwy 50 to the junction of WV Hwy 31 to Cairo and follow the signs to the park. Driving WEST, take U.S. Hwy 50 to WV Hwy 16 (Harrisville) and follow the signs to the park. Visit for more information.

West Virginia Department of Education Announces 2015 Microsoft Office Specialist State Champions

The Gilmer Free Press

Charleston, WV —Thousands of students from across the state showcased their Microsoft Office Word (MOS) Excel and Power Point skills in the 2015 MOS West Virginia State Championship this spring. The top six winners of the state competition were invited to travel to Orlando, Florida on June 18 – 20 to represent West Virginia and to showcase their expert skills on Microsoft Office in a national competition.

The West Virginia Department of Education (WVDE) is proud to recognize the following students for receiving first place in the 2015 MOS West Virginia State Championship:

    •  Sierra Bell, James Rumsey Technical Institute, Word 2013

    •  Matthew Byrd, Ritchie County High School, Excel 2013

    •  Joshua Arehart, James Rumsey Technical Institute, PowerPoint 2013

    •  Kendra Tolley, Carver Career Center, Word 2010

    •  Katelyn Lynch, Carver Career Center, Excel 2010

    •  Arielle Johnson, Carver Career Center, PowerPoint 2010

“We view all of our MOS West Virginia State Championship student competitors as winners because of their motivation to earn the valuable credential of industry certification,” said Sterling Beane, WVDE Chief Technology Officer. “These students are gaining the upper hand in today’s competitive academic and professional marketplace by learning the 21st century technology skills they need for success.”

“I am delighted to see the enthusiasm and dedication of our young competitors in the MOS State Championship,” said state Superintendent Dr. Michael Martirano. “I congratulate the six state champions for their extra efforts and look forward to seeing how they put their superior Microsoft Office skills to use in their future endeavors.”

The MOS State Championship is a global competition that tests students’ skills on Microsoft Office applications. West Virginia students age 13 to 22 were eligible to participate in one of six competition tracks by submitting a qualified, passing score on any of the following MOS exams: Word (2013 or 2010), Excel (2013 or 2010) and PowerPoint (2013 or 2010).

The competition is sponsored by Certiport (, a Pearson Venue business and the leading test delivery solution provider for the global workforce and academic markets. As the competition sponsor, Certiport provides a platform for students to demonstrate success.

WVU Graduation List: Spring 2015

The Gilmer Free Press

MORGANTOWN, WV – West Virginia University has released its Dean’s and President’s list and Graduation list for the spring 2015 semester.

A total of 5,099 students were named to the Dean’s list for spring 2015.

Out of these students, 1,839 were named to the President’s list after receiving a perfect 4.0 grade point average.

Those on the Dean’s list received a 3.5 GPA or higher.

A total of 4,301 WVU students graduated following the 2015 spring term.

Following are the graduates from the area Counties:

Last Name First Name City County
Delauder Emily Belington Barbour
Gray Trinity Belington Barbour
Jones Shannon Belington Barbour
Phipps Sarah Belington Barbour
Post Emma Belington Barbour
Price Dereck Belington Barbour
Riccio Jonathan Belington Barbour
Ware Jonathan Belington Barbour
Zirkle Christina Buckhannon Barbour
Howdershelt Seth Moatsville Barbour
Crickenberger Samuel Philippi Barbour
Foster Tasha Philippi Barbour
Norris Lauren Philippi Barbour
Saas Barbara Philippi Barbour
Schiefelbein Lauren Philippi Barbour
Chapman Chance Duck Braxton
Berry Tiffany Flatwoods Braxton
Tyo Jacob Frametown Braxton
Foster Marshall Gassaway Braxton
Rollins Katie Gassaway Braxton
Frame Macy Sutton Braxton
Zaras Theodore Sutton Braxton
Houchin Ashley Arnoldsburg Calhoun
Moore Melissa Chloe Calhoun
Johnson Mandi Grantsville Calhoun
Dorsey Chelsie Clay Clay
Dorsey Chelsie Clay Clay
Shearer Michael Clay Clay
Chapman Tashauna Duck Clay
Ross India Duck Clay
Brown Savanna Maysel Clay
Paxton David Maysel Clay
Cole Kelli Wallback Clay
Mitchell Kayla West Union Doddridge
DeMarino Hannah Glenville Gilmer
Estep Gregory Glenville Gilmer
Abruzzino Brittany Bridgeport Harrison
Alvarez Laura Bridgeport Harrison
Burlas Corrie Bridgeport Harrison
Cavallo Carrie Bridgeport Harrison
Conley Sarah Bridgeport Harrison
Critchfield Dami Bridgeport Harrison
Garrett Kurtis Bridgeport Harrison
Gherman John Bridgeport Harrison
Gray Wendi Bridgeport Harrison
Gruber Michael Bridgeport Harrison
Gruber Michael Bridgeport Harrison
Guirguis Marilyn Bridgeport Harrison
Henderson Regan Bridgeport Harrison
Hinkle Deanna Bridgeport Harrison
Iaquinta Brittni Bridgeport Harrison
Jafri Shane Bridgeport Harrison
Kroll Colleen Bridgeport Harrison
Lantz Justin Bridgeport Harrison
Lilly Kathrine Bridgeport Harrison
Mashta Mohamad Bridgeport Harrison
Murray Kevin Bridgeport Harrison
Patterson Jessica Bridgeport Harrison
Rudy Nicole Bridgeport Harrison
Sabbagh Osama Bridgeport Harrison
Seamon Zachary Bridgeport Harrison
Sellas Maria Bridgeport Harrison
Shanesy Joelle Bridgeport Harrison
Smith Brandon Bridgeport Harrison
Smith Elizabeth Bridgeport Harrison
Spadafore Joseph Bridgeport Harrison
Strogen Emily Bridgeport Harrison
Swanson Kayleigh Bridgeport Harrison
Thi Brian Bridgeport Harrison
Tomasik Nathan Bridgeport Harrison
Trickett Jessica Bridgeport Harrison
Trickett Jessica Bridgeport Harrison
Warne Andrew Bridgeport Harrison
White Garrett Bridgeport Harrison
Ferree Allen Bristol Harrison
Gillespie Corey Bristol Harrison
McKeen Martin Bristol Harrison
Brown Corey Clarksburg Harrison
Brunetti Samuel Clarksburg Harrison
Cain Emily Clarksburg Harrison
Carbacio Megan Clarksburg Harrison
Casteel Richard Clarksburg Harrison
Casteel Richard Clarksburg Harrison
Chancey Kendall Clarksburg Harrison
Clark Meaghan Clarksburg Harrison
Coffman Fletcher Clarksburg Harrison
Folio Christopher Clarksburg Harrison
Franz Morgan Clarksburg Harrison
Freeman Tiara Clarksburg Harrison
Givens Elizabeth Clarksburg Harrison
Greene Emily Clarksburg Harrison
Greene Emily Clarksburg Harrison
Hamilton James Clarksburg Harrison
Hayhurst Jacob Clarksburg Harrison
Heflin Stanley Clarksburg Harrison
Jougras Cameron Clarksburg Harrison
Lawrence Karley Clarksburg Harrison
Long Morgan Clarksburg Harrison
Marra Jacob Clarksburg Harrison
Mazza Madison Clarksburg Harrison
Moore Patrick Clarksburg Harrison
Noss Shay Clarksburg Harrison
Payne Gabrielle Clarksburg Harrison
Shaw Kathryn Clarksburg Harrison
Shingleton Kelsey Clarksburg Harrison
Smith Virginia Clarksburg Harrison
Stamm Christopher Clarksburg Harrison
Tetrick Alaina Clarksburg Harrison
Varner Mary Clarksburg Harrison
Altizer Dylan Jane Lew Harrison
Turner Ryan Jane Lew Harrison
Turner Ryan Jane Lew Harrison
Bartlett Tyler Lost Creek Harrison
Casto Chantelle Lost Creek Harrison
Matheny Dustin Lost Creek Harrison
Williams Cole Lost Creek Harrison
Wright Makinsey Lost Creek Harrison
Wright Makinsey Lost Creek Harrison
Wright Makinsey Lost Creek Harrison
Davis Brandon Lumberport Harrison
Wilkins Leigh Lumberport Harrison
Wilkins Leigh Lumberport Harrison
Weaver Heather Meadowbrook Harrison
Denny Andrew Mount Clare Harrison
Devericks Troy Mount Clare Harrison
Epperly Andrew Mount Clare Harrison
Wilson Gabriel Mount Clare Harrison
Fluharty Jordan Salem Harrison
Trent Savanna Salem Harrison
Williams Joel Salem Harrison
Harlow Joshua Shinnston Harrison
Jones Erin Shinnston Harrison
McCoy Matthew Shinnston Harrison
Prahl Jeremy Shinnston Harrison
Watkins Emily Shinnston Harrison
DeFazio Bryanna Stonewood Harrison
Lopez Eric Stonewood Harrison
Gooden Alaina West Milford Harrison
Mooney Ariel West Milford Harrison
Swiger Timothy Alum Bridge Lewis
Jackson Ryan Horner Lewis
Dunlap Amber Jane Lew Lewis
Garrett Diana Jane Lew Lewis
Jerden Jeremy Jane Lew Lewis
Skaggs Rebecca Jane Lew Lewis
Tinney Randi Jane Lew Lewis
Hardman Brianna Weston Lewis
Helmick Juliana Weston Lewis
King Carnell Weston Lewis
Metheny Lauren Weston Lewis
Miller Mallory Weston Lewis
Minney Sean Weston Lewis
Riffle Kassey Weston Lewis
Santalucia Nicholas Weston Lewis
Whetsell Kathryn Weston Lewis
Wood Melissa Weston Lewis
Barker Angela Canvas Nicholas
Hinkle Jessica Canvas Nicholas
Isabell Andrew Craigsville Nicholas
Williams Amanda Craigsville Nicholas
Mazzella Larry Fenwick Nicholas
Antoline Kristopher Mount Lookout Nicholas
Chapman Stephonie Nettie Nicholas
Alford Steven Richwood Nicholas
Adkins Amber Summersville Nicholas
Adkins Melissa Summersville Nicholas
Bennett Katelyn Summersville Nicholas
Bishop Mason Summersville Nicholas
Blankenship Julie Summersville Nicholas
Keiffer Courtney Summersville Nicholas
O’Dell Patrick Summersville Nicholas
Short Joshua Summersville Nicholas
Smith Brooke Summersville Nicholas
Sproles Nathaniel Summersville Nicholas
Summers Autumn Summersville Nicholas
Wharton Rachel Summersville Nicholas
Bosley Terry Weston Nicholas
Hupp Erika Belmont Pleasants
Arnott Lydia Saint Marys Pleasants
Hickman Christian Saint Marys Pleasants
Ash Ian Waverly Pleasants
Lauderman Claire Waverly Pleasants
Mathews Brandon Waverly Pleasants
Jackson Torie Pennsboro Ritchie
Stemple Jessica Pennsboro Ritchie
VanScoy Taylor Pennsboro Ritchie
Amos Jenna Pullman Ritchie
Smith Alexandra Saint Marys Ritchie
Izat Samantha Newton Roane
Allen Phillip Spencer Roane
Atkinson Rhett Spencer Roane
Berkhouse Leah Spencer Roane
Cottrill Anastashia Spencer Roane
Cox Mary-Katherine Spencer Roane
Garrett Alexandra Spencer Roane
Hildreth Katlynn Spencer Roane
Mitchell Ian Spencer Roane
Patton Preston Spencer Roane
Propps Chelsea Spencer Roane
Stover Carly Spencer Roane
West Amanda Spencer Roane
Lemasters Tyler Alma Tyler
West Hannah Friendly Tyler
Talkington Mark Jacksonburg Tyler
Curfman Rosemarry Middlebourne Tyler
Fletcher Dirk Middlebourne Tyler
Loy Victoria Paden City Tyler
Myers Joni Paden City Tyler
Cochran Ashley Sistersville Tyler
Garrison Ethan Sistersville Tyler
Kehrer Boone Sistersville Tyler
Lowe Cory Sistersville Tyler
Wable Michael Sistersville Tyler
Wells Emily Sistersville Tyler
Floyd Aaron Buckhannon Upshur
Frashure Rebecca Buckhannon Upshur
Kirk Justin Buckhannon Upshur
Lanham James Buckhannon Upshur
McLaughlin Matthew Buckhannon Upshur
Mendicino Michael Buckhannon Upshur
Newbrough Layla Buckhannon Upshur
Reed Barbara Buckhannon Upshur
Squires Timothy Buckhannon Upshur
Tenney Camron Buckhannon Upshur
Wentz Joshua Buckhannon Upshur
Anderson Adam French Creek Upshur
Sanders Michalla French Creek Upshur
Perrine Grant Cowen Webster
Schrader Kayla Diana Webster
Lake Rachel Webster Springs Webster
Kuhn Dalton Burton Wetzel
Kuhn Shane Burton Wetzel
Baxter Stephanie New Martinsville Wetzel
Bridgeman Madeline New Martinsville Wetzel
Cain Lindsay New Martinsville Wetzel
Cain Lindsay New Martinsville Wetzel
Cypher Amanda New Martinsville Wetzel
Dieffenbauch Lindsay New Martinsville Wetzel
Dieffenbauch Luke New Martinsville Wetzel
Fuller Christopher New Martinsville Wetzel
Fuller Christopher New Martinsville Wetzel
Hinerman Alicia New Martinsville Wetzel
Horner Abbey New Martinsville Wetzel
Murdock Corinne New Martinsville Wetzel
Patterson Emily New Martinsville Wetzel
Patterson Rebecca New Martinsville Wetzel
Patterson Rebecca New Martinsville Wetzel
Pefferman Matthew New Martinsville Wetzel
Potts Jakob New Martinsville Wetzel
Roush Kathryn New Martinsville Wetzel
Schmalz Drew New Martinsville Wetzel
Simmons Drew New Martinsville Wetzel
Taylor Jessica New Martinsville Wetzel
Toman Amy Paden City Wetzel
Ueltschy Coleman Pine Grove Wetzel
Ueltschy Coleman Pine Grove Wetzel
Sell Bryan Reader Wetzel
Lowe Sadie Smithfield Wetzel
Cox Emma Elizabeth Wirt
Knicely Reba Elizabeth Wirt
Murray Tyler Elizabeth Wirt
Shaffer Andrew Belleville Wood
Beeson Matthew Mineral Wells Wood
Cottrill Joseph Mineral Wells Wood
Marozzi Joseph Mineral Wells Wood
Province Benjamin Mineral Wells Wood
Radcliff Curtus Mineral Wells Wood
Scarberry Lindsay Mineral Wells Wood
Snyder Talor Mineral Wells Wood
Albrighton-Vanway Olivia Parkersburg Wood
Allen Chelsie Parkersburg Wood
Allen Chelsie Parkersburg Wood
Blake Stacy Parkersburg Wood
Clegg Aric Parkersburg Wood
Cordonier Sarah Parkersburg Wood
Cordonier Sarah Parkersburg Wood
Davies Amanda Parkersburg Wood
Davis Shannan Parkersburg Wood
Decker Jared Parkersburg Wood
Dowler Blair Parkersburg Wood
Dye Jeffrey Parkersburg Wood
Farrah Thomas Parkersburg Wood
Ferguson Dylan Parkersburg Wood
Fleenor Janet Parkersburg Wood
Gandhi Ishan Parkersburg Wood
Gonzales Katherine Parkersburg Wood
Hair Elliott Parkersburg Wood
Harmon Joshua Parkersburg Wood
Hewetson Craig Parkersburg Wood
Higgs Laken Parkersburg Wood
Hooper Amanda Parkersburg Wood
Hupp Charles Parkersburg Wood
Hupp Charles Parkersburg Wood
Johnson Amanda Parkersburg Wood
Johnson Kelsey Parkersburg Wood
Johnson Kyle Parkersburg Wood
Kepple Jennifer Parkersburg Wood
Kepple Jennifer Parkersburg Wood
Kiger Samuel Parkersburg Wood
LeMasters Staci Parkersburg Wood
Lockney Elizabeth Parkersburg Wood
Lockney Elizabeth Parkersburg Wood
Marlow Morgan Parkersburg Wood
Marlow Morgan Parkersburg Wood
McCarthy Katie Parkersburg Wood
McGinnis Holly Parkersburg Wood
Morehead Jordan Parkersburg Wood
Padden John Parkersburg Wood
Patterson Ryan Parkersburg Wood
Raber Justin Parkersburg Wood
Rempel Austin Parkersburg Wood
Sealey Jeremy Parkersburg Wood
Shaver Merritt Parkersburg Wood
Staats Erica Parkersburg Wood
Starcher Rebecca Parkersburg Wood
Stockdale Brian Parkersburg Wood
Stover Nathan Parkersburg Wood
Stump Alfred Parkersburg Wood
Ware Kayla Parkersburg Wood
Waters Luke Parkersburg Wood
Wheeler Jeremy Parkersburg Wood
Wolfe Charles Parkersburg Wood
Bailey Erica Vienna Wood
Bond Brittany Vienna Wood
Boone Lauren Vienna Wood
Greene Zachary Vienna Wood
Huggins Ashley Vienna Wood
Jones Ryan Vienna Wood
Knost Courtney Vienna Wood
Leach James Vienna Wood
McPherson Brandon Vienna Wood
Rose Stefanie Vienna Wood
Shockey Sarah Vienna Wood
Stevenson James Vienna Wood
Arnold Laura Walker Wood
Bunner Kylie Walker Wood
Mueller Joel Walker Wood
Bibbee Erika Washington Wood
Boso Jason Washington Wood
Cunningham Mary Washington Wood
Deal Bethany Washington Wood
Ellison Ryan Washington Wood
Ellison Ryan Washington Wood
Hall Jennifer Washington Wood
Hall Jennifer Washington Wood
Hanlon Alexandria Washington Wood
Huggins Abbi Washington Wood
Keller Cassidy Washington Wood
McCauley Kyle Washington Wood
Moore Hannah Washington Wood
Sams Lindsey Washington Wood
St Clair Tara Washington Wood
Zell Craig Washington Wood
Cullum Loren Williamstown Wood
Garcia Michael Williamstown Wood
Goodnow James Williamstown Wood
Knight Autumn Williamstown Wood
Ninan Sharath Williamstown Wood
Postlewaite Samantha Williamstown Wood
Saunders Taylor Williamstown Wood
Stephan Paul Williamstown Wood

PSC Announces Public Comment Hearings on Mountaineer Gas Company Rate Case

The Gilmer Free Press

The Public Service Commission has scheduled eight public comment hearings in the pending Mountaineer Gas Company (Mountaineer) Rate Case. Those hearings will be held:

    •  June 15, 2015, 1:00 PM, Cabell County Courthouse, Huntington

    •  June 15, 2015, 6:00 PM, Cabell County Courthouse, Huntington

    •  June 16, 2015, 1:00 PM, Beckley Convention Center, Beckley

    •  June 16, 2015, 6:00 PM, Beckley Convention Center, Beckley

    •  June 17, 2015, 1:00 PM, Ohio County Courthouse, Wheeling

    •  June 17, 2015, 6:00 PM, Ohio County Courthouse, Wheeling

    •  July 14, 2015, 1:00 PM, PSC Office, 201 Brooks Street, Charleston

    •  July 14, 2015, 6:00 PM, PSC Office, 201 Brooks Street, Charleston

Mountaineer has requested a $12.2 million or approximately 4.7% increase of rates and charges for its customers in West Virginia. It has also requested a revision of its depreciation rates.

The Commission has set an evidentiary hearing in these matters for July 15-17, 2015, at the PSC Office in Charleston.

Mountaineer serves approximately 221,000 customers in Barbour, Berkeley, Boone, Braxton, Brooke, Cabell, Calhoun, Clay, Doddridge, Fayette, Gilmer, Grant, Greenbrier, Hancock, Hardy, Harrison, Jackson, Jefferson, Kanawha, Lewis, Lincoln, Logan, Marion, Marshall, Mason, McDowell, Mercer, Mineral, Mingo, Monongalia, Monroe, Nicholas, Ohio, Pendleton, Preston, Putnam, Raleigh, Randolph, Richie, Roane, Summers, Tucker, Tyler, Upshur, Wayne, Wetzel, Wirt, Wood and Wyoming Counties.

More information may be obtained from the PSC website: by referencing Case Nos. 15-0003-G-42T and 15-0048-G-D.

Ritchie County Teacher of the Year 2015

The Gilmer Free Press

Barbara Laugh was selected as the 2015 Ritchie County Teacher of the Year.

She has taught Preschool in Ritchie County for 17 years.

She graduated from Gilmer County High School in 1991,
Glenville State College in 1995 and West Virginia University in 2000.

Barbara resides in Harrisville, WV with husband Allen and children Noah and Hannah.
The Gilmer Free Press

PACF’s Civic Leaders Fellowship Program Provides Paid Internships for Community Students

The Gilmer Free Press

Twenty-nine college students will return to the Mid-Ohio Valley working in local non-profits, businesses, and government agencies this summer as a part of the Civic Leaders Fellowship Program offered by the Parkersburg Area Community Foundation & Regional Affiliates (PACF).  The seven week long program enters its fourth year of bringing local college students back to their hometowns for meaningful paid work experiences and to make connections while contributing to their communities.

“We’re excited to be able to bring these students back into the MOV,” says Civic Leaders Program Director Mindi Line.  “This is such a unique program; it’s a great opportunity for young people to get real experience and to begin to understand how they can make a difference for themselves as well as their communities.  We are so thankful to our funders that make this program possible.” The Claude Worthington Benedum Foundation, McDonough Foundation and PACF provide the lead program funding with support from many others.

John Jackson, Executive Director of the Consumer Credit Counseling Service of the MOV, has previously supported the program by speaking at one of its Leadership events. This year, he will be hosting a Civic Leader.  “From our perspective, we have a bright, energetic student that we can deploy on several important projects that we just never had the manpower to undertake,” Jackson said.  “For the student, I hope they witness some of the challenges that face the non-profit community, especially on the funding and revenue side. I expect the results from this relationship to produce outcomes that provide for substantial savings for both our clients and our agency.  While the majority of our community might not realize the impact, the benefit to the clients will be tangible and substantial.”

Many first year students applied to the program, but funding is limited so eighteen were selected to serve as Civic Leaders for the 2015 summer.  “The selection process is very competitive with annual donations and grants providing the resources to pay the students’ salaries,” Line said.  “In addition to the eighteen first year students, eleven students are returning to complete their second or third year of the program.  Students who receive positive performance evaluations may return to the program for a total of up to three years of employment and leadership experiences.”

Tiffany Harvey, a rising junior at Potomac State University studying Agricultural Education, will be working with the WVU Extension Office in Jackson County.  “I feel extremely honored and blessed to have this opportunity to improve myself as well as the community,” Harvey said.  “My hope is that I can recreate the positive memories, personal growth, and educational experiences that I had with the Extension for today’s youth.”

Other 2015 placements include The Parkersburg Art Center, Downtown PKB, the City of Vienna, Roane General Hospital, Arnoldsburg Elementary School, and many more.  Placements vary depending on the students’ intended career choices. Rising junior at West Liberty University, Allie Roberts, will be working with the Boys & Girls Club of Parkersburg.  “I look forward to getting to work with local kids on a project that will teach them about healthy lifestyles and skills and make a difference in their lives,” Roberts said.  “I’ll be working in a program called Positive Sprouts, which will teach the kids how to maintain a garden and how to make healthy lifestyle choices.”

Students will also participate in a Leadership Friday session each week as well as engage in service projects, attend meetings of the local civic groups, and learn more about what this region has to offer.  To become involved as a sponsor or funder or to learn more, contact Mindi Line at

The 2015 Civic Leaders listed by hometown with their career placement shown are:

• Erik Allbright – Point Pleasant, WV (KS of WV)

• Callie Anderson – Elizabeth, WV (City of Vienna)

• Melissa Ashman – Newton, WV (Roane General Hospital)

• Emily Butler – Washington, WV (Mid-Ohio Valley Health Department)

• Amelia Cain – Marietta, OH (Camden Clark Medical Center)

• Daniel Carlsen – Vincent, OH (American Red Cross of Northwest West Virginia and the Camden Clark Medical Center)

• Emma Ehle – Williamstown, WV (Highmark West Virginia)

• Megan Hardway – Mineral Wells, WV (Downtown PKB)

• Amber Harper – Walton, WV (Spencer Newspapers)

• Tiffany Harvey – Rockport, WV (WVU Jackson County Extension Office)

• Michael Hicks – Millstone, WV (Calhoun County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office)

• Forrest Hogue – Cairo, WV (Wood County Society)

• Katie Hoover – Mineral Wells, WV (Vision Care Associates)

• Rachael Klimas – Parkersburg, WV (Mountain River Physical Therapy)

• Chance Lytle – Washington, WV (Woodcraft Magazine)

• Daniel Miller – Vienna, WV (The Parkersburg Art Center)

• Taylor Norman – Looneyville, WV (Anita Ashley, Attorney)

• Samantha Rea – Williamstown, WV (Washington County Health Department)

• Allie Roberts – Vienna, WV (Boys & Girls Club of Parkersburg)

• Elizabeth Ruscitto – Vienna, WV (The Washington County Home)

• Adam Shaffer – Belleville, WV (The Arc of the Mid-Ohio Valley, Inc.)

• Olivia Shreve – Ripley, WV (Sheriff’s Office of Jackson County)

• Katie Snodgrass – Spencer, WV (Arnoldsburg Elementary School)

• Kate Speece – Ravenswood, WV (Jackson County Library)

• Jordan Stemple – Vienna, WV (Consumer Credit Counseling Service of the MOV)

• Andrew Suggs – Washington, WV (eLimbs,LLC)

• Kelsey Waggoner – Pennsboro, WV (Camden Clark Medical Center)

• Brittany Walker – Washington, WV (Boys & Girls Club of Parkersburg)

• Hannah West – Friendly, WV (Windom Law Offices, PLLC)

GSC Spring 2015 Provost’s Honor List Announced

The Gilmer Free Press

GLENVILLE, WV – Glenville State College has announced the names of GSC students who attained the Provost’s Honor List for the Spring 2015 semester. To be named to the Provost’s Honor List, a student must have a minimum 3.5 grade point average on a minimum of 12 semester hours.

The students making the Provost’s Honor List are listed as follows according to their county of residence:

Barbour County: John D. Cockerham, Jr., Nathan S. Mayle

Berkeley County: Emily E. Brumbaugh

Braxton County: Bridget D. Carr, Jordan T. Cutlip, Bryan K. Foster, Jr., Ethan T. Hacker, Eric L. Hipkins, Natasha D. Hoffman, Elizabeth A. Jackson, Clifton W. Long, David L. Malcomb, Patricia A. McCourt, Drew A. McKown, Kristen F. Meadows, Nikki D. Paintiff, Adam W. Ramsey, Cami D. Roberts, Ryan C. Singleton, Kelsie R. Tonkin, Michael F. Wasylyk, Emmitt R. Wayne, Erica L. Whitney, Mischell L. Workman

Calhoun County: Jared B. Fitzwater, Samantha B. Fulks, Danielle N. Kendall, Quentin J. Murphy, Joseph A. Overbaugh, Aaron W. Yoak, Amara A. Yoak

Clay County: Courtney E. Cole, Kathy A. Holcomb, Nathan W. Mullins, Kaitlyn A. Murphy, Matthew S. Samples

Doddridge County: Ryan M. Mizia, Joshua L. Smith, Lindsey G. Travis

Fayette County: Vladimir V. Iotov

Gilmer County: Morgan R. Allen, Ezekiel G. Bonnett, Samantha J. Brookover, Teayria G. Cool, Conner T. Ferguson, Bethany B. Frymier, Adam L. Fuller, Clair L. Gilbert, Jazmin C. Gordon, Larisa D. Gordon, Meghan Harubin, Christina L. Jenkins, Jaime S. McCumbers, Dylan N. Montgomery, Cody M. Moore, Athena V. Morris, Kyra J. Parke-Davison, William M. Perkins, Corri C. Phillips, Emily E. Ramezan, Brett M. Rinehart, Hannah L. Roberts, Amber D. Shackleford, Kimberly A. Smith, Nathan S. Spencer, Gregory T. Steele, Curtis R. Sutphin, Tiffany A. Tomey, Kyle M. Troutman, Brook L. Turner, Ashley D. Woodford

Greenbrier County: Jacob R. Harper

Harrison County: Kolby G. Abruzzino, Nikki R. English, Gabriel B. Koontz, Megan E. Ruppert

Jackson County: Chelsey Hager, Katherine D. Mansheim

Jefferson County: Ryan D. Brandenburg, Renee V. Ritenour

Kanawha County: Aaron N. Calvert, Jerrica D. Hilbert, Kayli N. Hudson, Jonathan Z. Massey, Kenneth H. Withrow, Wayne H. Wurster, III

Lewis County: Whitney N. Alfred, James Z. Browning, Hannah L. Curfman, Brenna A. Gibbons, Jessica R. Kraus, Elizabeth J. Musselman, Chelsea E. Nickoson, Jami K. Rice, Kelly L. Weaver

Lincoln County: Rebecca L. Combs

Logan County: Kaitlyn A. Bircheat, Derrick O. Lowe

Marion County: Paige M. Tuttle

Monroe County: Joseph S. Elmore

Morgan County: Colton L. Brandenburg, Michael I. Pracht

Nicholas County: Jasin S. Coulter, Chelsea D. Dorsey, Caitlin D. Gwinn, Carrie G. Huffman, Melissa J. Jones

Ohio County: Benjamin B. Peace

Pendleton County: Holly G. Crider, Kevin R. Smith

Pocahontas County: Steven L. Casto, Kelly D. Hendrick, Brooke A. Riffe

Putnam County: Cody A. Carnefix

Raleigh County: Kristian J. Barr, Anthony C. Rakes, Frank G. Treadway, Jr.

Randolph County: Brittany L. Robinson

Ritchie County: Devon C. Cunningham, Hollie N. Gragg, Joshua C. Kaplan, Shelby N. Layfield, Brianna N. Ratliff

Roane County: Dylan P. Deweese, Corie T. Nicholson

Upshur County: Skylar A. Fulton, Abigail E. Moore

Wayne County: James M. Egnor

Webster County: Samuel A. Canfield, Hunter A. Given, Amber N. King, Tonya N. Sahl

Wirt County: Madison J. Parker

Wood County: Meghan D. Ruddlesden, Joshua A. White

Wyoming County: Brandon L. Peck

Out of State: Tequila K. Beatty, Joseph A. Brandal, Devin E. Cain, Erica T. Damone, Noah R. Green, Raven C. Greer, Justin T. Lewis, Momi P. Lievan, Alfonso Medina, Stephen G. Mickle, Nicole G. Newcomb, Donald Pierre-Louis, Art’om T. Rank, John Royce, Sean A. Steele, Troy A. Steele, Samantha M. Weaver, Tanner M. Wright

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The Gilmer Free Press

PARKERSBURG, WV—The Parkersburg Area Community Foundation & Regional Affiliates (PACF) announced its grant awards for spring 2015.

The Foundation awarded a total of $224,823 through the Spring Community Action Grants program to organizations within the Foundation’s eleven-county service region of Wood, Wirt, Ritchie, Doddridge, Mason, Calhoun, Gilmer, Roane, Pleasants, and Jackson Counties in West Virginia, and Washington County, Ohio.


    •  Calhoun County Historical and Genealogical Society - $2,592 to renovate the museum basement to mitigate water infiltration.

    •  Ellenboro Elementary School - $500 to purchase art supplies to incorporate art instruction into all classrooms.

    •  Gilmer Public Library - $3,250 to the development of mini-libraries throughout the county.

    •  North Bend Rails to Trails Foundation - $3,960 to install culverts on the North Bend Rail Trail.

    •  Ritchie County Middle School - $600 to support teacher training on literacy.

    •  Roane County Schools - $4,800 to upgrade Wifi infrastructure.

    •  The Wirt County Missional Group - $2,200 to purchase a cargo trailer for food transportation.

    •  West Central Beekeepers Association - $3,000 to assist local beekeepers in rebuilding bee colonies.

    •  Ritchie County Middle Schools - $800 to support teacher training on literacy

The Parkersburg Area Community Foundation and Regional Affiliates (PACF) awarded works with individuals, families, businesses, and civic or non-profit organizations to make a positive and permanent commitment for the future of our community.

PACF is a single 501(c)(3) public charity that manages more than 430 charitable funds with nearly $44 million in assets.

PACF works in partnership with local affiliates to provide leadership and develop philanthropic resources to meet the needs of an 11-county service area. Since 1963, PACF has helped local citizens support charitable needs and touch every aspect of life in the community in a variety of lasting ways.

For more information about PACF, visit or call 304.428.4438.


Braxton, Brooke, Doddridge, Gilmer, Jackson, Lewis, Marshall, Ohio,
Pleasants, Ritchie, Tyler and Wetzel Counties to receive federal assistance

The Gilmer Free Press

CHARLESTON, WV—Governor Earl Ray Tomblin today announced a federal disaster declaration has been approved for Braxton, Brooke, Doddridge, Gilmer, Jackson, Lewis, Marshall, Ohio, Pleasants, Ritchie, Tyler and Wetzel counties.  The declaration will provide assistance with ongoing state and local recovery efforts resulting from the severe storms, flooding, landslides and mudslides that occurred April 08-11, 2015.

“This assistance will help our counties address critical infrastructure needs resulting from the severe storms and increment weather during those dates, which represent one of three separate storm events this spring,“ Governor Tomblin said.  “I’m grateful to members of our Congressional delegation for their support of my request for federal help.“

Funds will be available to state and local agencies under the federal disaster declaration.

The declaration provides assistance for emergency work and the repair or replacement of public facilities damaged between April 08 and April 11.

Governor Tomblin requested a federal disaster declaration for 12 West Virginia counties on May 07.

The public assistance funding does not provide individual assistance for county residents.

Hazard Mitigation grants are available for all 55 West Virginia counties.

All counties are eligible to apply for this financial assistance for actions taken to prevent or reduce long-term risk to life and property from natural hazards.

North Bend Rail Trail Receives $1 Million in Grants

The Gilmer Free Press

CAIRO, WV – The North Bend Rail Trail (NBRT) that crosses four counties in north-central West Virginia recently was awarded grant funding of a little more than $1 million for continued trail improvements, repairs and maintenance. The eastern counties that the North Bend Rail Trail dissects will be the primary work focus for funding.

The North Bend Rail Trail is popular with hikers, bikers, horseback riding and walkers. It features 13 tunnels, is relatively flat, and stretches 72 miles beginning in Happy Valley in Wood County and ending in Harrison County near Wolf Pen. It is an east-west trail, once the rail line for B&O and the CSX system.  Details about the NBRT is available at

“The North Bend Rail Trail Foundation was a key factor in the success of achieving grant funding,” said Ryan Burns with the West Virginia Division of Highways (WVDOH). “The foundation raised funds used to match initial grant requirements.”

The original funding for trail work is a combination of Recreational Trails and Transportation Enhancement Program funds, the North Bend Rails-to-Trails Foundation, Inc., and multiple sources which created a collaborative partnership involving the West Virginia Division of Natural Resources, WVDOH and the NBRT Foundation. The combined trail funding has resulted in a combined total of $1.035-million. The funding is granted through the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) and administered by the WVDOH.

“The NBRT, one of the premier rail trails in West Virginia, has needed maintenance work performed on its eastern section, but funding was not available,” said NBRT Superintendent Paul Elliott. “Trail improvements will include tread surface hardening and much-needed drainage work along the trail in sections in Doddridge and Harrison counties. Everyone involved is dedicated to keeping North Bend Rail Trail one of the best in the Eastern US. Grant funds and interested groups working together keep good work happening in West Virginia.”

WV Eighth Graders Receive Golden Horseshoe Award on Friday, May 01, 2015

CHARLESTON, WV – Knowledge of the Mountain State really paid off for a group of eighth graders who were honored with a prestigious award at the Culture Center Friday.

On Friday, 233 eighth grade students from across the state received the award for their knowledge of history and culture.

State Superintendent Michael Martirano inducted the students from all 55 counties as Knights of the Golden Horseshoe Society during a pinning ceremony at the Culture Center in Charleston. The award is considered one of the greatest honors bestowed upon students in West Virginia.

“The Golden Horseshoe is coveted by many in the state, but received by very few,“ said Martirano. “It is an honor that these students can be proud of for years to come.“

The Gilmer Free Press

The Golden Horseshoe test has been administered in West Virginia each year since 1931 and is the longest running program of its kind in the United States. The top-scoring students in each county receive the prestigious award. Each county has at least two winners. The exam tests student knowledge on West Virginia citizenship, civics and government, economics, geography, history and current events.

The Golden Horseshoe originated in the early 1700s in Virginia when then-Governor Alexander Spotswood saw the need for exploration of the land west of the Allegheny Mountains, most of which is now West Virginia. Spotswood organized a party of about 50 men to explore the frontier. At the end of the exploration, he presented each member of the party with a golden horseshoe.

Translated from Latin, the inscription on each horseshoe read, “Thus it was decided to cross the mountains.“ On the other side was written, “Order of the Golden Horseshoe.“ Because of this, the recipients became known as ‘The Knights of the Golden Horseshoe.‘“

Those who Received Golden Horseshoe Award in the Region Are:


Ariel Jones
Gage Poling
Anna Ruf

Brady Bender
Garrett Perkins
Sydney Skidmore

Jeremy Parsons
Destiny Wager

Oliva Legg
Heather Sears
James Summers

Andrew McKinney
Jamila Wright

Logan Phares
Kaylene Snyder

Hailie Davis
Brooke Driscoll
Alanna Lowther
Tristan Nolte
Vincent Pinti
Gunnar Webb

Brice Johnston
Ryan Overton
Makenna Spangler

Kate Belmont
Hannah Dorsey
Brayden Hornsby
Madison Spencer

Haley Mitchel
Michael Sammons
Samuel Summers

Dylan Hammack
Carley Jarrell
Jeffrey Proctor-Kinsley

Dylan Seckman
Noah Smith
Alaina Thompson

Anthony Cutlip
Tyler Sikarskie
Seth Warner

Andrew Holcomb
Parker Stout
ShaiAnne Williams

Cameron Melott
Jordan Stackpole
Noah Wade

Bradley Hall
Sophia Steigleder

Benjamin Barbarito
Phillip Essenmacher
Jackson Hudkins
Andrew Larsen
Bryce Moore
Hunter Tate
Nathan Winger
Kathy Williams - Honorary Winner

Click H E R E for Complete Printable List

WV Scholar Semifinalists Named

The Gilmer Free Press

BUCKHANNON, WV – Twenty West Virginia high school juniors have been named as semifinalists for the 2015 MVB Bank West Virginia Scholar Program.

The 20 will now be interviewed as part of the process that will result in a four-year, $125,000 scholarship for undergraduate study at West Virginia Wesleyan, located in Buckhannon, that includes tuition, fees, room and board.

Up 10 finalists will be named May 24. Between then and June 14, votes for the finalists will be cast online.

Beyond the grand prize, there are additional scholarship awards for finalists. The second prize is a four-year, $5,000 scholarship at Wesleyan, while the third prize is a four-year, $2,500 scholarship there.

The winners will be announced during a June 16 luncheon on the Buckhannon campus.

The 20 semifinalists and their high schools include:

  •  Caitlin Murphy-Tygarts Valley

  •  Margaret Lohmann-Bridgeport

  •  Adreanna LeMasters-Wheeling Park

  •  Johnnie-Jo Hovis-Buckhannon Upshur

  •  Abigail Chaffins-Spring Valley

  •  Hannah Daniels-Elkins

  •  Mateah Kittle-Bridgeport

  •  Brianna Ritz-Magnolia

  •  Khori Lowther-Lewis County

  •  Katherine Rexroad-Notre Dame

  •  Breunna Haynes-Parkersburg South

  •  Hayden Nichols-Herbert Hoover

  •  Kathern Keith-Gilmer County

  •  Kathryn Gerbo-University

  •  McKenzie Whitehair-Ritchie County

  •  Kia Barnhart-Tyler Consolidated

  •  Ashley Grace-East Fairmont

  •  Noah Taylor-Clay County

  •  Savannah Kite-Moorefield

  •  Sadie McCartney-Elkins

In addition to MVB Bank, West Virginia Wesleyan and MetroNews, the sponsors for the 2015 West Virginia Scholar Program, now in its 7th year, are the West Virginia Homebuilders Association, West Virginia Forestry Association, the West Virginia Hospital Association and Friends of Coal.

Arbor Day Poster Contest Winners from McDowell and Ritchie Counties

CHARLESTON, WV – West Virginia Division of Forestry officials announced two winners in the 2015 West Virginia Arbor Day Poster Contest. McKaylee Lynch, a homeschool student in Harrisville, Ritchie County, took top prize in the fourth-grade category. Jacob Adkins of Bradshaw Elementary in McDowell County won top honors in the fifth-grade category. This year’s contest theme was “Trees Are … Beneficial!”

The Gilmer Free Press

Contest Coordinator Andy Sheetz, the Division of Forestry’s partnership coordinator, said, “The Arbor Day Poster Contest is an excellent opportunity for students to showcase their artistic talents while learning about the importance of trees.”

An award ceremony will be conducted for each of the winners and trees will be planted in their honor. Each winner also will receive a $30 cash prize from the West Virginia Forestry Association.

The West Virginia Arbor Day Poster Contest is open to all public, private and home-schooled fourth-grade and fifth-grade students in the state. Information on the 2016 contest will be available in September 2015 at

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